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Amsterdam 5, Denmark 4, Copenhagen 4, San Francisco 3, Europe 2, Neil 2, Us 2, New York 2, The Netherlands 2, Ies 1, United 1, Euros 1, Sarah 1, Mike 1, Lizzie 1, Boston 1, New Amsterdam 1, The Hague 1, Rotterdam 1, The City 1,
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  SFGTV2    [untitled]  

    September 24, 2010
    3:30 - 4:00pm PDT  

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individual motorists, not just businesses afraid of profit. i am wondering, i am not sure how much a european have met with people who are very resistant, thinking it is like socialism, people just want to take over the streets and will not be room for cars and we will go slower and lose jobs. have you been able to convince people? what kind of arguments have you had? >> two weeks ago, a new york, it was 400 years ago that new amsterdam was found at -- was founded. they convinced the general director of the new york port authority to put into action a
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bike accessibility plan, a bike plan for the more than 200,000 employees of the new york port authority. so they convinced these men that it would be a benefit to invest in bike accessibility. the thing is, i don't know, maybe you could put out an opportunity to meet them. we are mainly preaching for people who like our message, but i hardly meet people -- the opposition. i don't know, maybe there are some people who are against too much like accessibility in the room here, but up until now, we have not met them. >> back in my town, i meet them
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very often. one of the most, one of the best arguments concerns air quality and the problem of noise. also, the numbers of young families not wanting to have their kids growing up in town and moving out. they're really looking at what arguments can you put forward to say we cannot continue the way that things are going. >> think in copenhagen, the status of the car has changed. people are not used to having cars anymore. they sometimes use a car and go to a car sharing club or something. it is socially acceptable to cycle. 30, 40 years ago, you would maybe be seen as a loser if he came on a bicycle, -- if you
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came on a bicycle, but now it is for everybody. everyone is cycling. it is not, the former generation in the 60's, denmark, they could afford to buy a car and they really enjoyed it. they wanted to show it, and all trips they made or made by cars, the the new generation has a completely different view. >> i already gave my answer during my presentation. it is everything, especially if it is business or businessmen, it is money driven. show it is comparative in cost or it is less cost for business. because if you show that, there is a discussion. >> let me ask before i go to the next question, what in your experience the you believe was
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the most influential and excepting the different stages of the car and its role in the city? i am sure over 40 years, your attitudes toward the automobile have changed. what do you believe was the most important influence? was it the price of gasoline? was it cost? was it the availability of more alternatives that are equally convenient? >> i think in copenhagen, we're lucky to have this strong tradition. it is survived the 1960's and 1970's, where the car became more prominent. many people still cycled, even if everything was focused on improving conditions for the car. i think it was a dream that you should be able to cycle in your town. that was a movement around 1980, with huge demonstrations,
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in front of the town halls and the danish parliament. many thousands of people said they wanted city's -- they wanted cities where you could cycle around. >> i think most people in the netherlands, more and more realize the detrimental effect of car use. i have 80,000 people and it rotterdam, population of 700,000. more than 10% are seriously affected by traffic. if i drive a car, i have to realize that i caused this problem with serious consequences. also, the climate effects. in the netherlands, people who
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come to work by bike are more regarded them by car. the people who use the car have to find excuses why they still use the car. they just come and say, i just want to go by car. and the fact is, more and more people -- for instance, in amsterdam, by having this past and so on, 9000 people per day choose not to have their car because there was no more accessibility by car but choose the alternatives. 15% of them stay with the alternatives. they had a car. when they experienced it, it was not so bad commuting by bike or public transport, then there
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were convinced also. -- then it they were convinced also. if you tell people who drive by cars, and i think american politicians are so afraid they might lose voters, but if you keep telling them the detriment of the effects of using their car every day -- what? but they will not mind losing voters. my friends and the businessmen and area, they don't mind.
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for the around children, -- for their own children, but is it faster, more convenient, and cheaper? those are the reasons why you will choose an alternative way. for instance, with the road blocks because of the working, they choose the alternative way. why? because it is cheap and because we have an arrangement for a cheaper ticket, and it was faster. and in the end, they stayed with public transport because they realize that and they saw that it was faster and the cost was not higher. that was the reason, because we had an affiliation with that, and those were the reasons they
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stayed with public transport. >> thank you, peter. sarah? [inaudible] >> i just wanted to ask you to share some of your challenges with having so many cyclists and public transit. i[inaudible] >> we have a system in copenhagen which could be an example. 30 years ago, those running the system, the trains and suburban trains, they said we do not have
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room for bicycles on the trains. the passengers, they are more important. then gradually, they were pressed, and you were allowed to bring a bicycle on sundays. it worked. that was gradually opened more and more op. in the end, the only restrictions was on a rush-hour , and only in the most busy direction. then when they got a new train wagon, they got a fixed area we could have wheelchair's and trams, and to have your bicycle less well. -- and you could have your bicycle as well. i think it is working perfectly well. now they see the cyclists as
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their customers. and that is a big change, because before they were the enemy. >> the situation in the netherlands is completely different. cyclists are not encouraged to take their bikes on public transport. it is especially forbidden to have normal bikes and rush hour. the reason is because of 4% of the clients of public transport of trains, by bike. what they provide for our enough bicycle parking and the possibility to take a bite from the station to where you want to go -- and the possibility to take a bicycle from the station to where you want to go to with a public transport bicycle.
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they say, we do not want to take the bike on the train, only for recreational purposes. on sunday, it is quite easy to take your bike. outside, it is only folding box and a provide enough bike parking. >> the public transport bicycle at the end of the trip, it is that a bike share program? is that a transit program? >> it is a bicycle sharing program. the bikes are not free. the cost 2.85 euros per day to use it. but it is growing very popular. >> on the issue of bikes and transit, in the u.s., a traditionally we have seen by?
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-- traditionally we have seen bicycle racks. we cannot really see that in europe. is it because of the size of the city? >> i think honestly, it would not be possible to do that in copenhagen is there are so many cyclists which would try to use that service. i think the system would break down. you could do it if you had few cyclists, i guess. we have examples of areas in denmark we have that system, but that is not in the dense areas. >> my name is neil. i am with the san francisco planning department. i wanted to go back to your goal of mass cycling and how to speak forcefully about the boards of providing infrastructure that
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matches the needs of everyone that you would like to see cycling. he would say there is a fundamental disconnect between stating that goal and not providing that infrastructure. i want your opinion on the second topic that we touched on today, which there was a slide in the presentation, carrots and whips, and whether you would agree how important that is? thus far, and our experience, teh carrots are the things that we have tried to top. my sense is that without those whips, we're not going to achieve that goal of mass cycling without proper infrastructure. any thoughts on that? >> for the time being, because we have this goal of 50%
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commuting by bicycle and we have 37%, there is a gap of 13%. where do we get those cyclists from? that is why we're looking at what we can do. of course, we can improve the bicycle infrastructure, the cycling networked, and especially made billy -- and especially maybe the bicycle parking. we could do that, but we cannot reach very far there. what is disappointing is that the road projects scheme is not expected to do more than 1.5% to 3%. so is not what i expected. i expected much more from that.
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the other problem is we are not allowed to introduce cars sharing because there are things that the government will not allow us. but they are gradually changing their mind. they say in 2015, maybe we can go on with the program. >> you should see the graph of car use and bicycle use in amsterdam when they increased parking fees. the car use went down, the bicycle use went up. higher parking fees are very effective in decrease in car use and increasing other modes of use -- in decrease in car use iqi 5u9 it was quite effective.
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another thing, peter talked about the parking permit. in amsterdam, you have to wait two and half years before it because you -- you have to wait two and a half years for the parking permit. >> people except they can just not have a car. in amsterdam, the other modes of transport are so well-organized, it is just like in the hague, a car is more of a new sense that a create a car is more of a nuisance and liability. it is expensive. the other modes of transport are much more convenient. >> ok, mike, you have a question? use the microphone, please.
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>> separated bike paths in the united states are controversial, and they're slowly catching on. how important is it to have those facilities in place? is it maybe a quarter of importance, 50% of the attraction for people to take their bikes? i'm wondering how important it is. >> i think that you need a cycling infrastructure, both from a statistical point of view and the feeling that people have when they use it. otherwise, we do not think we would have more people cycling if we did not put in more cycling facilities. i think the cycling infrastructure is absolutely
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necessary. if you want to do something for the other groups, you also have to do a lot when you design your intersections. that is where the most accidents happen and where the people feel the most unsafe. we're focusing very much on the intersections, how to design those. >> the towns in the netherlands have the highest rate of bicycle use. also, in denmark. ithey have all the facilities ad priorities for bicycles. it turns out that these towns have a lot higher bicycle use than elsewhere. it pays to have good bicycle
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facilities. >> yes, i have another question. this is more on the cost and maintenance. one thing that plagues american cities is the maintenance budget for maintaining public streets and public right of ways. we know very well that you have very high taxes and you have very high parking fees. could you talk about who and how you maintain your infrastructure and the streets? is that just a given, you decide to build something and somebody maintains it, or is there an agreement with another department to maintain it? >> the authorities in amsterdam, the infrastructure and transport department and municipalities, they financed it, they planned
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it, they build it, construct it, and they maintain it. i think that is the logical route. and is paid by the community's -- and is paid by the communit ies, and also from the state department. [inaudible] >> in the netherlands, if a road is really bad they will fix it.
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>> ok, there is a question in the back. >> our director of public works was in the back. he has a real problem here. maintenance is a huge bill. we do not have the wherewithal to maintain what we have. putting in new facilities increases the cost. then when you bring in different types of facilities -- >> we see a lot of the european- style traffic patterns with intricate paving stones and
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beautiful designs and then we get the response, we do not have the maintenance budget, we cannot maintain these. how do you get around that so you could say this is the actual cost? >> it is an integrated part of running the business. it is the responsibility of the mrs. pawlenty -- it is the responsibility of the municipality and it is the responsibility of the taxpayers. if we build a new highway, we know how much it costs, but we also know how much it costs yearly to maintain it. it is one and the same. it is part of the bill. >> doesn't anybody here in san francisco care about the cost? all about the streets, the
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pavement is quite bad. i think it seems to be quite a port town. the same in boston. everywhere, the pavement, the maintenance of the roads are a lot worse than anywhere in europe. >> on that note, any other questions? >> hi, i work for the san francisco board of supervisors. a year or two ago, there is talk about changing the traffic laws so that cyclists would treat it red lights like stop signs and treat stop signs like yield signs. it was wondering about any changes in law? >> it has been suggested recently that cyclist conditions should be improved.
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one was that cyclists should be able to ride on a red light. that was a discussion. i do not think that we will get that in denmark, because you have to change the legislation opinion that cyclists, they already have the rights they need. they have the same rights as cars, and that is enough. we don't have this for cars. >> we also have european regulation on that. i should do the picture of the 1-way roads. the cost that it brought with it. underneath the existing sign, you had to make another sign on the other part of the road. the also had to indicate you are
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a car driver on a one-way road but you may have cyclists on the other side. we said, let's pass the message that it is like that, with or without the extra sign, but we could not because it was prohibited by european regulations. we do have some constraints there. >> in the netherlands, you have a separate bicycle path where you cannot turn right without having to encounter other bikes going straight ahead or going left. in a lot of cases, they have traffic lights and they say underneath, cyclists to the right may pass at the red light. in the netherlands, it is quite common that cyclists who are turning right may do so at a red traffic light. >> ok, we are a little after
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1:00. before you leave, i would really like to thank the mpc and the german marshall fund. >> if anybody is interested in the presentation, there are some real interesting slides. we will be posting them on our website. if you want to leave your business card, we will make sure that we keep you on the list to receive e-mail notification about that. he did leave that on the table, or hand them to lizzie, who is right there by the pillar, or hand them to me. we will make sure that you get notification of that. >> thank you all very much. thank you, peter, thank you, neil. thank you all for coming.
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>> i work with the department of environment and we are recycling oil. thank you. we can go into a refinery and we can use it again. they do oil changes and sell it anyway, so now they know when a ticket to a. hal>> to you have something you
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want to get rid of? >> why throw it away when you can reuse it? >> it can be filtered out and used for other products. >> [speaking spanish] >> it is going to be a good thing for us to take used motor oil from customers. we have a 75-gallon tank that we used and we have someone take it from here to recycle. >> so far, we have 35